The Education Policy Townhall meeting scheduled for Wednesday, January 4th proceeded without invited guest speaker Melinda Bush. Both Bush and Lennie Jarratt were invited to speak to local community members regarding school issues in the Zion-Benton area. Jarratt (Republican) and Bush (Democrat) are also running for State Senate in District 31. This was not a political event and was meant to explain to the audience members how to get involved in their school boards decision making and what they could do to make changes. It was a decent turnout with many members participating in the question and answer portion. Former Board members spoke up as well as local officials and people working at the high school. While the meeting was going on, the school board and union leaders were still negotiating, hoping to avoid a strike on Thursday. Unfortunately for the children, that did not happen and the next morning teachers were walking the picket lines.
Melinda Bush is a former Lake County Federation of Teachers Union Representative. Her attendance may have brought a different perspective to the conversation if she is in support of the teachers strike. Lennie Jarratt is a local Round Lake Area resident who has been a taxpayer watchdog of the Grayslake District 46 Board meetings for a number of years. Most recently, Jarratt was able to obtain email records (through the FOIA) attributed to former D46 Board President Mary Garcia, that questioned her use of email that may have abused her position.
In emails sent to former Board President Mary Garcia, Board member Susan Facklam wrote “Don’t let them turn us in; gifts to register to vote is probably illegal”.
Susan Facklam, who STILL sits on the D46 School Board, was eventually notified by Lake County Chief Deputy State’s Attorney Daniel Jasica that she had been found guilty of “a felony violation of Illinois election code by handing out the gift certificates”. Garcia lost her re-election bid.
Currently, there is no update on when the Board and the Union will be sitting down again to discuss the contract. In the meantime, while the teachers walk the picket line the students are losing out on their education.
The video below shows the unedited 1.5 hour long meeting. Your comments are always welcome.
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